Goal Setting!

posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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As a salesperson, I would highly recommend that you set goals for yourself. As a sales manager, it is your job to set goals, not only for your team as a whole, but also for each individual salesperson on your team. There are a number of factors to consider when setting goals and we will begin to look at those today.

Goals must be set for the month and the year. Sales goals should be set for the month and for the year. I would set goals for total sales dollars and number of sales. Without goals, how will you or your team know what to shoot for or how they are doing? People need concrete goals and numbers in order to reach their fullest potential. It is also important to challenge people and yourself with stretch goals that will help to reach beyond where they thought they could go. In short, people will work to achieve goals if they are set.

Daily and weekly numbers are targets, not goals. Many people and sales managers make the mistake of setting weekly or daily goals. I agree that all salespeople should have something to shoot for both on a weekly or daily basis. These I call targets, not goals. The difference is simple; targets are used to monitor progress towards the monthly or yearly goals. Anyone can have a bad day or a week. However, the monthly goal is where the accountability should lie. The goals are how an individual and a sales manager holds people accountable. Targets are just a measuring stick for progress towards those goals. Having targets also give the sales manager tools for training and coaching.

Sales goals must be realistic and attainable, based on the current running rate. Goals are designed to make people achieve, not to demoralize yourself or the staff. If you are setting goals that are just plain unrealistic, then you are setting up people for failure. Your goals should be set at your company’s current running rate of productivity. For example, if the company were running at a 10% sales increase for the measured period (the last 3, 6, or 12 month period), then 10% would be your current running rate. I would then make 10 - 12% the goal and possibly 20 - 24% the stretch goal. To give someone a goal of 20% and stretch goal of 35% would be unrealistic.

We will continue to look at goals and how to set effective goals for your next time. In the meantime, just remember that it is difficult for someone to accomplish anything if no goal is ever set.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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